Civic Reception in Honour of the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay 2023
The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Adrian Schrinner; Commanding Officer HMAS Moreton, Commander Fiona Southwood RAN; Commander, 7th Combat Brigade, Brigadier Michael Say DSC; Legacy Australia Chair, Mr Eric Easterbrook; Legacy Brisbane President, Mr Paul Power and staff; Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Deputy Secretary, Major General Stuart Smith AO DSC (Retd); Queensland Reconstruction Authority CEO, Major General Jake Ellwood DSC AM CSC (Retd); Australian Defence Force personnel; Legacy Torch Bearers and Legatees; supporters; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
As Joint Patron of the Legacy Club of Brisbane, I was delighted to accept the invitation from the Lord Mayor to join you this afternoon to honour the Legacy Torch Relay’s visit to our city, and to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of a very special organisation.
This morning, Graeme and I welcomed Legacy to Government House to begin the Centenary Torch Relay’s Brisbane leg, and I am equally delighted to have this chance to say farewell, before it travels to Toowoomba, Ipswich and the Gold Coast, and then moves on to New South Wales.
Since the Torch Relay left Pozières, France in April, it has journeyed far, and touched many hearts.
The undying flame it carries holds an important message—one symbolising immense sacrifice and service, as well as unwavering hope.
In 1923—when the first Legacy Club was formed—the lingering shadow of war continued to fall on the families of soldiers who had lost their lives.
The simple battlefield promise one soldier made to another—"to look after the missus and the kids”—became a rallying call to action, which over the years saw the organisation grow, while remaining true to its roots.
Now, a century later, Legacy Australia-wide is 44-Clubs strong, and is both deeply valued and deeply cherished by the many thousands of veterans’ families it helps.
Legacy Brisbane alone supports more than 5,700 people who have been impacted by the loss or incapacity of a loved one, and across Australia, Legacy’s assistance reaches over 40,0002.
It is not surprising that it is affectionately referred to as “Australia’s Biggest Family”.
Throughout the organisation’s long history, it has relied on its many volunteers—its Legatees, to carry out its programs and services—people who selflessly offer the hand of friendship, and the wisdom of mentorship to those most impacted by military service.
Some of these amazing Legatees are with us this afternoon, and I take this opportunity, on behalf of all Queenslanders, to commend you for your dedication.
I also thank the many Torch Bearers in our State who have carried the flame with such compassion and care.
An event like this takes tremendous organisational effort, and I would like to acknowledge the crucial assistance of Defence Health, alongside other generous partners and supporters.
And finally, my deepest respect goes to all at Legacy—its Board, Executive and staff—for protecting “The Promise” so that this precious message will be carried securely and strongly into the future.
I wish the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay safe travels ahead. Thank you.